Good Nutrition Habits for Those with Gastrointestinal Problems

Heart on Stomach

Gastrointestinal problems can cause a wide range of symptoms that make you feel uncomfortable. The foods you eat can play a crucial role in managing GI problems and easing symptoms, such as bloating and gas. Find out more about how you should eat and what food habits you should avoid if you have any GI problems.

Causes of GI Problems

There are many different kinds of GI problems that can occur. These problems can develop when your gastrointestinal system isn’t able to function as it should, which can be due to issues with your diet or underlying illnesses. In fact, there is a strong link between the foods you eat and the way your gastrointestinal system digests these foods. Some of the more common problems that can affect your gastrointestinal system include the following:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating and gas
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn and/or acid reflux
  • Nausea

Symptoms of GI Problems

When you have problems with your gastrointestinal system, the symptoms you experience depend on the cause of these problems. With irritable bowel syndrome, you might have abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea or constipation, cramping, and stool with mucus in it. If you have heartburn or acid reflux, you might have a burning sensation in your chest after you eat certain foods. You might also have a bitter taste in your mouth and pain that becomes more severe when you lean over or lie down. Some GI problems cause nausea with or without vomiting, while others mainly affect your bowels by giving you constipation or diarrhea.

Treatment for GI Problems

The type of treatment that will provide you with the most effective relief for GI problems depends on the kind of issues you’re having. One of the most effective ways to ease the symptoms of GI problems is by making changes to your diet and developing healthy nutrition habits while also avoiding unhealthy habits. Digestive health education and dietary counseling can provide you with the knowledge you need in order to develop these habits. This type of education and counseling involves working with a healthcare provider who can offer you advice and guidance on nutrition based on the types of GI problems you have.

Healthy Nutrition Habits

Some healthy nutrition habits you can work on building for better GI health include the following:

  • Eat on a regular schedule rather than eating anytime you want.
  • Eat foods with probiotics, such as yogurt and sauerkraut, to boost the amount of healthy bacteria in your digestive system.
  • Eat foods that are high in fiber, such as beans, vegetables and fruits, to keep your bowel movements regular.
  • Eat until you’re full, but stop there so you won’t overload your digestive system.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially warm liquids, that promote healthy digestion.

Food Habits to Avoid

Some of the food habits that you should avoid include the following:

  • Don’t eat your food fast, since slower eating supports better digestion.
  • Avoid eating too much later on at night, especially before bedtime.
  • Avoid taking a nap or going to bed right after you eat, since this also slows your digestive system.
  • Avoid having fruits with other foods, which can lead to bloating.

If you're suffering from gastrointestinal problems, please contact Allied Digestive Disease Center to schedule an appointment. Our team can provide you with the care you need to treat conditions that affect your digestive system. We offer these services to patients in and around the North Houston area.

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